Friday, June 20, 2014

Garden Walk 2014

There are some nights in our neighborhood that are just gasp worthy. This was one of them about three weeks ago. 

One wonderful neighbor had a banner strawberry crop.


And a yellow peony.

Nancy and Kristian had garlic shoots with ramps up.

Zinnia Porn



So thankful to be able to walk around our village and see so many beautiful things growing.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Nesting Dolls

One of my resolutions at the beginning of the year was to use my hands more often in the name of art. I did finish Baby Nephew's teddy bear on the plane to Memphis in March. I checked one handsie-creative-thingy off the list. Inspired by a post from a friend on FaceBook after re-reading this article, "OMG, Twins! I had my second creative outlet idea. Nesting dolls for the most adorable friend and her precious family. Sam Bosma's nesting doll artwork was so awesome, I had to recreate it in my own way for her. "I will make you nesting dolls if it's the last thing I do," were my approximate words on her post. I even watched a short piece on Russian Nesting dolls during the Olympics to get motivated. But it was a totally blank slate and it took me forever to start. And another forever to finish. Do I paint them first, then draw? I ended up drawing first, then using colored pencils, sharpie pens and acrylic paint to finish. There are so many options but in the end I loved showing the wood.

Janelle is a book club friend. Read the article. She wrote it for the Baltimore Magazine. It's hilarious, well written and honest. I was one of her friends who was excited about twins! I was a nanny for two sets of twins with 5 kids total ALL UNDER 6 my freshman summer of college. Twins rock! Yes, they will never let you sleep at night, but during the day they actually keep each other company, are best pals, and the closest of secret keepers. Janelle documents her family in the most delightful way on Instagram @momoffour30. Follow her. The boys are want to sleep and jump in and out of each other's crib as of late. Hilarious from the reader's point of view, devastatingly annoying from the mommy and daddy's bedroom I'm sure.

Janelle always wears these shades. They are so her and this family photo is the perfect representation of their adorableness. Don't you want to be friends with them? We are so lucky! They are so cool, laid back and laugh at parenthood vs. bitch about it.

Stole Ron's whole look from this cool anniversary present Janelle found on Etsy.

I stalked their FaceBook pages to get ideas and draw their faces. Ron's is my favorite because it has the farm they visit on the back. It was just so fun to draw again! Why don't I do this more often. It's such a great outlet.

Wonder Willa with her princess dress and pink princess crown.

The twins were the Wild Things for Halloween and I just had to give and ode to Max and the Wild Thing to Zeke and Gideon. I love how the eyes turned out.

Milo is a little rock star with a guitar on the back. Janelle is the Editor of Baltimore Bride and the "Love" project was perfect for her doll. Now looking back through my orders I can't find the link to the actual place I bought them but Google nesting dolls, and find the number you want. This is pretty close. Very fun project for a rainy day with your actual kids too. We love you Diamonds!

Friday, June 6, 2014

#BmoreRowe Wedding of @katekatebear and @thefrontrowe


I was involved with the most wonderful wedding last weekend. Our good pals got married on the Inner Harbor, and I actually married them! The groom and I met at Visit Baltimore where I worked for over 4 years when we first moved to Baltimore. He taught me everything I know about social media as he was the Director of Web Marketing. I tried to make the ceremony personal and referenced the bride and groom's first "imaginary" Tweets, since they basically met on Twitter. I swear Tom is the reason I have a Twitter handle, figured anything out about Facebook, even after Lizzo told us about it in college, and have any followers at all. I used to walk into his office and ask the most annoying questions oh so many years ago. "How do you ReTweet?" He would yell at me and tell me to Google it. Seriously. We had a love hate relationship and giggled about it on Friday night at the rehearsal dinner.

It was all love for @thefrontrowe and my @KateKateBear last weekend. Damn that guy was lucky to find her. She is the light of the world and attracts anything shiny and positive to her. Look at her! She was the most gorgeous bride, with her 40s retro hair. When they first got engaged I gave them a few tips on planning a wedding. She wrote about it on her blog here. I'm so glad I helped them take the stress notch down a bit in the beginning. They chose the Four Seasons for their ceremony and Pabu for the reception and dinner. It was so perfect, and so Kate and Tom.

The bridesmaids were stunning, STUNNING, in their emerald green dresses, and healthy smiles. Kate not only attracted Tom over Twitter but some of her best, besties through Tone It Up. I will never forget seeing Kate's bikini challenge photos on-line and thinking how impressive it was she put herself out there and inspired so many. She's just the most energetic, wonderful person in real life and on Social Media. One friend joked after the engagement on Twitter, "After the wedding you are all invited to run a marathon."

How I came to marry these little love birds was kind of funny. Tom basically texted me after my go-to officiant wasn't available.

So I did what any good friend would do and got ordained on-line. Maryland is very cool about on-line ordination so it was easy. But I'm pretty churchy. When we met I asked the cuties if they wanted a traditional ceremony, and in my head was freaking out about breaking any Episcopal Canon laws. After reading over the "traditional" ceremony on Friday at the rehearsal I realized it just wasn't a good fit and rewrote everything after the rehearsal dinner later last Friday night. I was a little nervous. I aim to please and wanted everyone to be happy, parents, grandparents, etc. Kate and Tom were just so laid back they said over and over, "You'll be great." When I practiced in front of E. on Saturday morning I seriously could not stop choking up. I love this crazy people. LOVE THEM. I had to freaking keep it together.

The best advice our own priest, Stuart, gave us is that the ceremony is not about the officiant. It's about the couple. Tom suggested to just "riff on them" for a bit. That part was easy. It was the actual ceremony I couldn't figure out. Thank goodness for the internet. All in all I was really pleased with my changes and ultimately the traditional declaration of consent, exchanging of rings, holding of hands (aww), and exchanging of vows came together perfectly. And I didn't cry which was the hardest part.

Snagged from Facebook from Tom's aunt, as Tom removes Kate's veil.
There are lots of photos of the couple laughing during the ceremony so that's awesome. It was the most perfect 70-something degree, blue sky day!

E. and I had never been to Pabu. The choice was so unique and different. Food was one of the couple's top three most important things for the wedding. During the meal Eric said, "This is the best wedding food I've ever had." We all agreed at our table. Sadly, we learned today Pabu is closing in A WEEK. What?!!! 


It's a real bummer. The space is amazing. The food was incredible.

The raw bar options were limitless. Razor clams. Wow!

The kissing fish matches were a great touch on the escort card table. Kate works at the National Aquarium across a few piers in the shadow of Pabu. The escort cards were tickets and had the #BmoreRowe hashtag on them, as well as anything printed at the restaurant. I riffed on the hashtag quite a bit in the ceremony. 


All of our friends who had been to Pabu said the fried chicken was legendary. Truth. The sweet chili glaze on the tempura batter was a winning combo.

We were served family style. The composed watermelon salad had mint and there were two other salads served at the same time.

It felt like we ate sushi for two hours. There was a huge team staffing the open kitchen.

The bar options were ridiculous and amazing. There were three signature cocktails and the server at one point asked E if he wanted Japanese whiskey. #toomanystickeywickets

The dessert station after soup, salads, fish, fried chicken and a pork option was just gluttonous, but so worth the indulgence. Pecan. Pie. Cream. Puffs. That is all. They cut a peach wedding pie. Oh my goodness, Lord in heaven. Yum.

The best man speech was in a word, emotional. There was not a dry eye in the Pabu. Even the staff were in tears. Way to mention your grandfather Matt, and get everyone, including Tom to break down. Awesome. I guess Tom got Matt pretty choked up at his own wedding. Payback. Whew.

So many feelings. I cried so hard after seeing Tom cry that E. wasn't sure if something wasn't really wrong with me. Like had I broken a leg or something. You will never cry alone if I'm in the same room.

The bride's tattoo says it all.

The photographer was actually close to pushing me into the harbor for getting this shot. This. This is Kate Kate Bear to a "T"!!! Suck it Pete. Haha, I joke. 

Such a fun shot of the photographer and bride. You're welcome Pete! xoxo

The fire boat was a nice touch on the Inner Harbor at sunset.

It was so fun to be a guest and enjoy a wedding this spring. For those who missed the wedding I hope you enjoyed my crazy and fun Instagram feed. Selfie nation. Video selfies. Too Many Sticky Wickets. It was REALLY fun being part of this wedding for two great people. Their style and taste showed throughout the whole process. Well done friends.

Kate and Tom, thanks so much for trusting me to marry you. It was such an honor. We have loved being there through your whole 4 year courtship and look forward to many more dinners, movies and Mr. and Mrs. dates. 

Love, Nelle and E